This study will evaluate the effectiveness of a Problem Solving Treatment in preventing
depression in elderly patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
AMD is the most common cause of blindness in older adults. The disease limits the ability to
read, see familiar faces, and walk independently. Almost 2 million persons (about 5 percent
of the U.S. population over age 65) are now affected, and this number will triple by the
year 2020. This study will target patients with neovascular AMD (NV-AMD), a form of AMD
which can lead to sudden vision loss, substantial disability, and depression. Because
depression is itself disabling and not likely to be recognized nor treated by
ophthalmologists, preventing depression in people with NV-AMD is important.
Patients are randomly assigned to either PST or a usual care control condition. The primary
outcome measure is a DSM-IV diagnosis of depression. Patients are evaluated at baseline,
Month 2 (immediately post-intervention), Month 6 (for the primary efficacy analysis), and
Month 12 (to evaluate sustained effects). The study will also assess the impact of PST on
levels of disability and vision-related quality of life.
- Bilateral macular degeneration
- Visual acuity of 20/40 or worse in better eye
- Residence within 40 miles of Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia, PA